627 Commission Circle
180 million years ago, in an area now lying across Kentucky and Virginia, a vast inland sea receded, leaving in its wake a veritable cradle of botany. Meanwhile the river that is now Russell Fork got about the work of carving out an immense, spectacular gorge, renowned as the largest east of the Mississippi. Here fractal ferns, galax, colts foot, tea berries and a profusion of fungi and moss species dot an undergrowth of rich greens with their bright yellows, oranges and pinks.
Hikers, be prepared for the catch of breath as you lift your eyes from the delicate landscape underfoot to the wonder of a raptor soaring overhead. Boaters, rafters, horseback riders, take a moment to rest in awe of these timeless mountains, as their undulating profiles resolve into the distance in ever-paler shades of blue.